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BLACKWATER USA | DAILY BRIEF


Coming Up This Week

  • A British court will start to hear a case about which Venezuelan government rightfully owns $1.9 billion in confiscated gold. A decision isn’t expected until August or September.

  • The House of Representatives will vote on a bill for DC statehood on Friday. If passed, it would give Washington, DC ful representation and voting rights in Congress—which advocates say would be a win for civil rights too, since DC is historically very black.

LME Commodity Spot Prices

  • Aluminum: $1,579/ton

  • Copper: $5,835/ton

  • Cobalt: $28,850/ton (that’s the first move from $29,500 that we’ve seen in weeks!)

  • Gold: $1,739/toz

COVID-19

  • The WHO reported 150,000 new global cases of coronavirus yesterday—the highest single day increase during the pandemic to date.

China

  • India’s Minister for Roads and Transport claimed—without evidence—that China lost 40 soldiers in the China-India skirmish in the Galwan Valley. That could be true, but China avoided reporting its casualties.

  • After meeting with China’s lead diplomat (Yang Jiechi) in Hawaii, SecState Pompeo declared that the U.S. will continue to treat Hong Kong as a Chinese city as long as China does. Pompeo also said Hong Kong’s September elections will “tell us everything that we need to know about the Chinese Communist Party’s intentions with respect to freedom in Hong Kong.”

  • Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists failed to get enough support to go ahead with a planned strike against China’s proposed national security law. Only 8,943 union members voted in a city-wide poll on the strike—which would have required 60,000 votes to go ahead.

  • Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, called for closer ties with China to help Lebanon escape its perpetual economic crisis.

Turkey

  • Turkey’s Directorate of Communications is bizarrely claiming the PKK assets it targeted in northern Iraq last week were training and supporting Antifa, the anti-fascist left-wing organization Pres. Trump blames for inciting violence during protests in the U.S. As one American YPG volunteer said: “Are we meant to believe that YPG had the time to train people on how to [defecate] in a fish pond or how to draw penises on the side of a church building?”

Libya

  • Egypt’s Pres. Sisi warned of possible military intervention in Libya, where Egypt supports the LNA, which is being threatened in Sirte. An official from the rival GNA accused Sisi of “beating the drums of war.”

DRC

  • A Congolese court found Pres. Tshisekedi’s chief of staff, Vital Kamerhe, guilty of “diverting public funds worth $48.8 million dollars,” and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. Kamerhe’s co-accused, Lebanese businessman Jammal Samih, was also found guilty.

U.S.

  • Pres. Trump is expected to announce new visa restrictions tonight or tomorrow—including perhaps the suspension of H1-B and other visa classes until the end of 2020.

Other News

  • Zimbabwe’s health minister was arrested over charges that he improperly procured $20 million in coronavirus tests and equipment from a company registered in Hungary. He’s the second Zimbabwean government minister to face charges related to corruption.

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